Knowledge Exchange 

Policy responses to complex urban sustainability challenges require knowledge from many different areas to be appropriately responsive. This forms a starting point for the Knowledge Transfer Programme in Cape Town, where researchers are ‘embedded’ in the policy processes in relevant departments of the city. An additional value of the South African project is the joint writing, where city officials contribute to the academic output as co-authors of scientific articles.

In Southern Sweden, the three universities in Lund, Malmö and Alnarp have joined forces to find new ways to support municipal strategic challenges connected to sustainable development, primarily building and planning activities. 

The purpose of this collaborative project is to learn from experiences of the programmes in Sweden and South Africa in order to implement more innovative ways of working in the two countries. The focus will be on comparing different kinds of partnerships in order to strengthen collaborative work between the state, universities and society, and try those methods in practice in Sweden and South Africa.

The research has three priorities:

  • Exploring different state-university-society partnerships and collaborations, with a certain focus on how they function as brokering communities
  • Deepening theoretical understanding of conditions for co-production and collaborative and comparative research in different national and institutional contexts
  • Developing methods for successful transfer and implementation of good practices in university-society collaboration between two different national contexts, in this case Sweden and South Africa.

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash


  • Rike Sitas

    Rike Sitas är forskare vid African Centre for Cities sedan 2013 och koordinator vid Mistra Urban Futures, UrbanAfrica.net, Cities Alliance Africa Think Tank, Public Art and the Power of Place.

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  • Magnus Johansson

    Magnus Johansson är projektlmedlem i Mistra Urban Futures Skåneplattform.

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  • Craig Davies

    Craig Davies is an embedded PhD researcher with African Centre for Cities and the City of Cape Town, conducting research relating to affordable housing and transit-oriented development.

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  • Sean Cooke

    Sean Cooke is currently a Doctoral candidate in Transport studies within the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town. His field of study is the relationship between urban development and public transport finance. For the duration of his doctorate, he will be embedded within the City of Cape Town's Transport and Urban Development Authority through a knowledge transfer programme. Additionally, he is a transport research consultant, running projects for UN Environment, among others, through agreements with the University of Cape Town. 

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  • Vaughn Sadie

    Vaughn Sadie is Research Assistant at the African Centre for Cities, ACC. 

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